Bute by-election could be held soon

Election votes being counted.

Election votes being counted.

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A by-election could be held as early as April to fill a vacant seat on Bute Community Council, it has emerged.

The vacancy, caused by the resignation of Kevin Bye last month after little more than a year in the post, was the subject of much lengthy debate at the community council’s February meeting this week.

The discussion was sparked by a letter in The Buteman from Rothesay resident Mike Spear, suggesting that the vacant place should automatically go to Hugh Moodie, who stood as a candidate in the last BCC by-election in November but lost out on one of the two available seats by just two votes.

The rules governing community councils do not allow that to happen, but since this week’s meeting it has emerged that Argyll and Bute Council, which runs all community council by-elections in the area, is already organising at least one other by-election for April, and that it could hold one for Bute at the same time.

Five candidates stood for election to BCC in November, with the two seats being won by Tony Harrison with 936 votes and Nina McDonald with 644.

Mr Moodie received 642 votes, while Marlene Hill - a former BCC member - got 632 and William Scott received 264.

At both that by-election and the last full community council election, in October 2013, the number of candidates standing for election to BCC was far higher than for any other community council in the Argyll and Bute area.